Tracing The Roots of Citigroup

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Citigroup was initiated on the 8th of October 1998 following the amalgamation of Citicorp bank and insurance company Travelers Group, transforming it into a prominent financial services entity.

Its past is significantly marked by the role played by myriad business partners who merged with the financial services giant over the years. Citibank is a transnational banking firm working in over one hundred countries, whose principal line of work include areas such as insurance, securities and consumer finance.

Citicorp is the holding company of Citibank and its track record goes back to 1812. Following the approval by the State of New York dated June 16, 1812, The City Bank of New York, was introduced – a financial institution earmamrked for local merchants and traders, whose main office was situated on the iconic Wall Street.

Long before the close of the century it expanded its wings to other states in the United States and also overseas – its first president was Samuel Osgood. The City Bank of New York underwent major transformation in 1865 after becoming part of the new arrangement of federal banks in the US. In 1895, The National City Bank of New York assumed the status of being the most prominent depository financial institution in the United States.

National City purchased a large portion of the Bank of the Republic of Haiti, the Reserve Bank of Haiti and after the U.S. invasion of Haiti, National City purchased the entire equity of the bank. However, it was blamed for unethical behavior, due to the institution’s apparent denial to pay the Government of Haiti interest on money deposited into accounts, channelled by Citibank in New York.

From 1902, international growth was accomplished through the opening of business offices in London, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Manila and Singapore. In 1930, the banking firm had already reached up to one hundred offices in twenty-three countries prior to the Second World War. The internationalization of the institution, nonetheless, was proceeded unhindered. The City Bank switched its name to The First National City Bank of New York in 1955 which later cut to First National City Bank.

In a bid to boost expansion of its activities, the institution initiated a controlling firm comprising of an individual bank in 1968. The bank went on to  launch the Citicard, which pioneered the use of automated teller machines around the clock.

In April 1998, Citicorp announced its aim to join forces with Travelers Group, a holding firm participating primarily in the insurance sector. While in October of the same year, the amalgamation was finalized to form Citigroup, one of the most powerful financial services organizations in the entire world, with presence in over one hundred countries.
 

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